Saturday, May 15, 2010
How important is your media kit?
I am a firm believer that first impressions make a difference. If the first thing a potential reviewer, reporter or blog host sees of your work is a crappy-looking-piece-of-junk Media Kit . . . well, good luck!
The image in this blog is the front cover (or first PDF page) of my Media Kit for The Missing Element. In terms of the visual arts, I'm not artistic at all. Can't even draw a straight line. And yet, I was able to create this cover in my word processing program. It's not Van Gogh. But it's eye-catching and gives the impression that I gave the matter of this first impression some thought.
When you create the inside of the Media Kit, you want to make the content as complete and as user-friendly as possible. You don't want to leave out important information, like your marketing/promotional plan, the book's info sheet, or a sample press release. But you can't really expect anyone to want to read the entire kit either.
My Media Kit is currently 16 pages long. To address the issue of accessibility, the kit includes a Table of Contents. If the reader wants to check out the "Reviews" first, s/he can skip ahead to that section. If a reviewer is pressed for time, they might appreciate the FAQ section, from which they can cut and paste author quotes, or even structure their review as part book review, and part author interview. Because portions of your kit might end up in the media verbatim, make sure the writing is tight and your editing is clean. Don't write anything in the kit in a less-than-professional manner. It might come back to embarrass you later.
When I send out a paper version of my kit, I have my local print shop laser-print it in booklet format. It costs me about $5.00 per kit in very small quantities (which is what I want so I can continually add reviews, appearances and blog mentions to the kit as they occur). It's a minimal investment if the look of the kit is sharp enough to get your book looked at, while others sit in a pile of look-alike white paper stacks.
A number of reviewers have commented to me that my Media Kit is very professional. If folks go out of their way to say something like that, you know they are taking notice -- they want to take a look inside that colorful cover. If that happens, you've already gotten their attention. If your interior is accessible and professional, too, you might just put yourself high enough up the reader's "to do list" to get a review published.
If you're not sure what to put in your Media Kit, check out the link in my blog post entitled: "My most successful marketing tip to date" from April 12th.
Hope my experiences with a Media Kit have been of some help in your quest for success.
Have a great day!